Thursday, July 26, 2007

Orthopedically Correct Greetings

After ten or fifteen miles, my right shoulder often hurts. I didn't think much about this for a long time, since it's not unusual for my shoulders to hurt a bit, but the recurring pain finally bothered me enough to assign a few brain cells to the problem. Their report: it's a combination of being right-handed and giving a big friendly wave to those courteous motorists who stop for me at unregulated crossings. It's an awkward wave because of the need to balance, stride, and face forward as I do it.

I'm testing this diagnosis by waving left-handed for now. After two days, I think it's helping. Once my right shoulder recovers, the long-term solution might be to wave left with the right hand and right with the left hand, so my arms stay close to my body and there's less strain on the shoulders.

Today: 13 miles. This year: 853 miles.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I hope I won't encounter any new kind of rudeness or recklessness along the trail, but I was pleased to benefit from a novel courtesy this morning. A bicyclist passed me as I approached Westview Street. The trail crosses Westview at a tree-lined curve with bad sight lines. The cyclist crossed the road just ahead of me and called out "Clear!" when he had the best view to let me know I needn't stop. I appreciate the traffic report.

Today: 13 miles. This year: 840 miles.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I'm Not Overweight

I'm not undertall, either, even if being 5'6" means I'm shorter than you. Today I weigh 11 stone exactly for a body mass index of 24.9, exactly at the top of the normal range. I've dropped just over one stone to get here and I'll have to drop another to return to my lowest-ever adult weight of 10 stone. It's not likely.

Today: 8.5 miles. This year: 810.5 miles.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Scattered Showers

The trail was dry in Arlington and most of Lexington this morning, wet for a couple of miles west of Bedford Street, and dry again at the Bedford end. Summer showers can be very small.

Mice are the one kind of wildlife that I see more often dead than alive along the trail. There were three of them scattered along the trail in Lexington this morning, more than I've seen in a single day. It's high season for mice, apparently.

Today: 16.5 miles. This year: 775 miles.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What Happened Here?

Losing a side-view mirror is a common enough auto accident -- my wife lost one to a snowplow a couple of years ago -- but I wonder what happened that left a cyclist's helmet mirror lying in the trail.

Near milestone III

Near-daily thunderstorms are keeping the vegetation lush along the trail.

Westbound in Bedford

Today: 16.5 miles. This year: 714 miles.

Monday, July 2, 2007


I've seen these signs around for the last couple of years and could never understand them. They're posted at a few regulated intersections, including on Summer Street in front of the Arlington Recreation Center. My best guess was that cyclists were expected to stop on green lights, which made no sense. The Boston Globe explained in yesterday's Starts and Stops column: when the light is red, stopping at the line should activate the loop sensor and change the light to green. But only if your bike has enough steel in it, as aluminum and carbon fiber don't count. The highway department has got to get better writers.

Today: 13 miles. This year: 671.5 miles.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Bikeway in the News

The Minuteman Bikeway is the subject of a front-page story in today's Boston Globe, provocatively headlined "Rage on the bikeway". The story seems overstated. I think the great majority of trail users are reasonable and act decently, even if they don't observe the rules strictly. The racers who fail to signal, pass on the right, and generally threaten the safety of all around them are a tiny minority.